Refugee children 'to stay in internment centres'

10th April 2006, Comments 0 comments

10 April 2006, BRUSSELS - The children of asylum seekers obliged to return to their country of origin must stay with their parents in internment centres, Interior Minister Patrick Dewael said on Sunday.

10 April 2006

BRUSSELS - The children of asylum seekers obliged to return to their country of origin must stay with their parents in internment centres, Interior Minister Patrick Dewael said on Sunday.

The Liberal VLD minister said that there was no alternative to the measure, so long as the period of children's stay does not exceed 14 days, that compulsory teaching is provided and that work continues towards 'humanising' the centres.

Speaking on current affairs television program 'De Zevende Dag', Dewael added that much had been accomplished in this direction in recent years.

Dewael also stressed that before asylum seekers were placed in internment centers, strenuous efforts were made to convince them to leave Belgium voluntarily.

In a separate statement, Dewael declared that the number of asylum applicants had decreased considerably.

In January, February and March of this year, respectively 1,038, 934 and 998 requests for asylum were recorded compared with 1,285, 1,286 and 1,466 during the same period in 2005.

The minister, who is presently working to reform Belgian asylum laws - measures which will be submitted to parliament after Easter and which Dewael hopes will be adopted before summer - added that the number of voluntary returns to countries of origin is increasing.

[Copyright Expatica News 2006]

Subject: Belgian news

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